/ˈzēˌrō/
(noun)
  1. No quantity or number; naught; the figure 0.
  2. A day in which no miles are hiked.

Retreat!

written Mar 2, 2019 @ 06:32 PM after hiking 10.00 miles

It kept snowing throughout the night, so we had a lot of snow to shake off of our gear in the morning. Maria & Bahar were in my two-person tent, but it's a three-season tent so it provided very little extra warmth. I was using my tarp tent so it provided zero extra warmth. However, my sleeping bag is wonderful and kept me plenty toasty.

Maria seeing what happened overnight

Super petty view, though!

After working our feet into our frozen-solid shoes, we broke camp, packed up our gear (after shaking off as much snow as possible) and started hiking. We had a big climb to do today, and a covered/hidden trail, so we put on our hiking spikes for it.

Blazing trails

About a quarter of the way up, the trail forked: it didn't matter which route we took, because they eventually merged again. However, we choose the right-hand path because it looked more developed (at least for summer hiking) and pushed on.

Hiking up along the pipeline

About a third of the way up, the trail turned into solid ice from frozen runoff. I scouted ahead a bit, and then came back with disappointing news: we weren't equipped for this route. If I'd had my proper crampons and maybe a mountaineering axe, I would push on. But I didn't, and neither did they.

So we had two options, and had to decide now due to lack of time:

  1. we go back to the fork and try the left path. Maybe it is more snow and less ice and we can make it. (Note that we have to make it because we would run out of daylight otherwise).
  2. we go back down and hike all the way back to Vindstad and take the ferry tomorrow afternoon.

We choose (1).

Back down we go

Once down, we had a quick lunch and then started the long, snowy, scramble-y hike back to Vindstad.

It sure was a pretty hike, though!

We reached Vindstad (literally, "wind place") around 6pm. We scouted campsites and eventually decided to set up on the yard of the cafe there -- the entire village was deserted, but we figured that was the least-rude option. We made a guess which way the wind would be coming from and set up to use the building to block the wind.

Let's hope this works!

After dinner, we didn't dawdle and instead just climbed into our sleeping bags and went to bed.

We did not predict the wind correctly; this could be a long cold night for me in my tarp (at least the frozen ground made for very good tent stake anchors)